MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Some Mid-South businesses spent Thursday learning about the benefits of hiring ex-offenders.
Hosted by the Department of Corrections and the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission at the University of Memphis Fogelman College of Business and Economics, the symposium's goal is to encourage local businesses to hire former inmates like Jerald Trotter.
"I made a huge mistake in 2000, November 12th. I shot a man. He died," Trotter said.
After serving 13 years, Trotter is sharing his story with others, but four years after his release, he still doesn't have a full-time job.
"If we start hiring these people, hiring the ones who actually want to work, it could be huge in the inner city. It's going to drop crime. The commercials help with the crime, but hiring people is going to get rid of crime," Trotter said.
"For the employers out there, I want them to know that there are skilled workers out there who truly have turned their lives around, and if you hire them, they can be a great employee," Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said.
With 15,000 available jobs in Memphis, the hope is business owners will open their minds to hiring skilled, qualified ex-offenders and help possibly lower crime rates.
"They'll have a job and they will be no need to go back to a life of crime," Strickland said.
Here is a list of some organizations who help ex-offenders get job training: